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homeSunday 17th December 2017

Wrap launches food waste initiative

Stuart Spear30/11/2017 - 17:14

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Consumers will have better labelling advice
Consumers will have better labelling advice

The waste reduction body Wrap has this week addressed food waste through a series of initiatives including guidance on date labels and storage advice.

The new guidance produced in association with the FSA and Defra sets out best practice to be used by food manufacturers, retailers and brands. The move is a bid to cut the 350,000 tonnes of food that is thrown out each year.

Environment minister Therese Coffey said: ‘We know that confusing labels can contribute to food waste by suggesting that edible items need to be thrown away sooner than is necessary.

‘I encourage all food businesses, large and small, to use this guidance to help them put the right date mark on food and help to guide people on the refrigeration and freezing of product which are crucial to reducing the amount of edible food thrown away.’

Food businesses are being asked to only apply a ‘use by’ date when there is a good food safety reason for doing so, otherwise ‘best before’ should be used.

Only one date label should be applied to a product with customers being given the maximum time to consume food by using an open and closed life span.

Clear storage advice should also be provided supported by symbols. In the case of chilled foods consistent temperature advice should be provided like for example ‘At home store in the fridge below 5C.

It is estimated that ensuring consumers run their fridges at below 5C could add on average an additional three days of life to food and save households £280 million a year.

Only a third of fridges run at below 5C with a third running at at an average of 7C and a third at above 9C according to Wrap.

The guidance includes’ best practice on food date labelling and storage advice guidance’ along with a number of specific guides covering fresh produce and poultry. Guides on dairy meat and bread products are to follow.

Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said: ‘I welcome this clear guidance to help tackle food waste, without compromising the safety of food. It will help businesses supply food that is properly described and stored, and safely provided to consumers.’

Work already carried out by WRAP with the UK’s larger food companies has resulted in more pasteurized fruit juices and hard cheeses moving from ‘use by’ to ‘best before’.

More fresh produce is carrying advice to store in the fridge with more produce carrying the instruction to ‘freeze before the date shown’ rather than ‘freeze on day of purchase’. 

 

 

 

 

 

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